When You Grasp the Holiness of God
This content is from OPEN, a new online resource that serves as a guided journey through the Bible.
We have been following the story of how God’s people rebelled against Him, were taken into exile, and then brought back to the Promised Land. During these years, God spoke to His people through the prophets. The last seventeen books of the Old Testament contain the writings of these prophets, the first of whom was Isaiah.
In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah was given a vision of God that shaped his life and ministry. Uzziah ruled in Jerusalem for fifty-two years, and during that time, the nation enjoyed a remarkable period of prosperity. This generated a feeling of confidence among God’s people, and as their confidence grew, they became increasingly casual toward God.
Vast crowds continued to press into the temple, offering their sacrifices and observing the feasts and festivals. But their religion made little difference to their lives. The temple that was once filled with God’s glory had become a mere symbol of traditional values. Far from being pleased by this religious activity,
God regarded it as an obnoxious “trampling of my courts” (1:12). This is a great danger for us too – that we lose sight of the holiness of God.
The prophet Isaiah was given a vision in which he saw the LORD, and he heard angelic creatures calling out to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3).
If you want to give emphasis to a statement, you can underline it, put it in italics, or use a bold typeface. You could also give something emphasis by saying it twice,
as Jesus did when He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you…” (John 3:3).There is only one truth in the Bible that is given a triple emphasis,and that is the holiness of God. Click To Tweet
The Bible never says that God is “wrath, wrath, wrath,” or even that God is “love, love, love.” But it does say, God is “holy, holy, holy.” The holiness of God is so foundational to who God is, that if we do not grasp His holiness, we do not know Him as He is.
Isaiah the prophet was given a vision in which God came near, and the temple shook and was filled with smoke (Isaiah 6:4). Isaiah said, “Woe to me!…I am ruined!” (6:5, NIV). The word “ruined” literally means coming apart at the seams. We sometimes say, “He or she has got it all together.”
But Isaiah experienced the opposite. When he saw God, he fell apart. As a prophet, Isaiah’s lips were the tools of his ministry. But in the presence of God, he found that even his greatest gift had to be cleansed: “I am a man of unclean lips,” he said (6:5).
When you grasp the holiness of God, you will see that what needs to be cleansed is not just the worst of you,
but the best of you as well.
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